Skip to main content

Full text of "Report on a deep sea dredging expedition to the Gulf of St. Lawrence"

See other formats



Queens University at Kingston 



To the Hon. Peter Mitchell, 

Minister of Marine and Fisheries for the Dominion of Canada, &c, &c. 

S IR) — I have the honor to submit the accompanying report, descriptive of some of the 
results obtained in a deep sea dredging expedition round the Island of Anticosti, under- 
taken under your auspices, and on behalf of the Natural History Society of Montreal. 

Your obedient Servant, 

J. F. Whiteaves. 

The most important contribution to our knowledge of the marine animals inhabiting 
the Gulf of St. Lawrence, was made by Dr. A. S. Packard, Jim., to the Boston Natural 
History Society, in October,' 1865, and printed in their Memoirs in 18G7. Extensive 
dredging operations were carried on by that gentleman on the Labrador coast, near the 
entrance to the Straits of Belle Isle; but although large collections were made, no greater 
depths than from fifty to sixty fathoms were examined. 

In 1867, I devoted a fortnight to the examination of the bottom of the sea in Gaspe 
Bay, by means of a dredge, with very decided success. I had previously undertaken 
three dredging expeditions in various parts of the British seas, so that I already had 
some experience in such matters. The greater part of the specimens obtained in Gaspe 
Bay in 1867, were taken by me to London in 1868, where they excited considerable 
attention among naturalists, who kindly volunteered practical assistance in the 
further prosecution of these researches. I am specially indebted to J. Gwyn 
Jeffreys, Esq., F.R.S., for the gift of a dredge of the latest pattern, fitted up with bags 
of a novel description, which were subsequently found to be of great utility. Having 
procured the latest apparatus for the purpose while in England, in the summer 
of 1869, I again went down to Gaspe, and devoted six weeks exclusively to dredging 
in Gaspe Bay and its vicinity. As in 1867, so in 1869, my kind friends, Messrs. 
John Luce and P. de Carteret (of the firm of Messrs. W. Fruing and Co., of Grande 
Greve) received me with the utmost hospitality, and gave me every assistance in their 
power towards carrying out the objects I had in view. Every available day dredging 
operations were carried on, and- two cod banks, situated between Cape Gaspe and Cap 
Rosier village, but about five miles from the shore, were carefully examined. Large col- 
lections were made, and since 1867 I have devoted nearly all my spare time to the study 
of the foraminifera, sponges, polyzoa, and mollusca, obtained in these two expeditions, the 
results of which I hope soon to publish. Microscopical preparations have been made 
illustrative of the first three of these groups, and careful dissections of a number of the last, 
Many interesting marine animals have also been collected in the River and Gulf of the 
St. Lawrence, by Principal Dawson, Professor R. Bel], and Mr. John Richardson, Jan., but 
with these gentlemen dredging operations and marine zoology have been for the most part 
subordinate to special geological investigations. No researches with the dredge have ever 
been made in the deeper parts of the River or Gulf of the St. Lawrence until the sum- 
mer of 1871. I had only succeeded in dredging as deep as fifty fathoms, and believe that 
no one else had dredged much deeper, if any. Five samples of mud brought up by deep 
sea leads, from depths of from 100 to 313 fathoms in the Gulf, (in the possession of 
Principal Dawson) containing a few diatoms, some small foraminifera, and two species of 
polycystince, represented all that was known (up to 1870) of the fauna of the abyssal zone 
of the seas of the Dominion. During the winters of 18G7 and 1871, I called the special 
attention of the Society which I have the honor to represent, to the importance of trying 
to ascertain, by dredging, the nature of the animal and vegetable life inhabiting the greater 

J 9 


depths of the St. Lawrence, and endeavoured to show that such investigations would not 
only "be of great scientific interest, but that they could scarcely fail to be of considerable 
practical value. Principal Dawson also, as President of the Society, has often advocated 
similar views, and in June, 1871, I was delighted to hear that he had spoken to you on 
the subject, and that you, at once appreciating the importance of such researches had 
promised every assistance in your power towards the carrying of them out. Principal 
Dawson requested me to undertake the superintendence of the expedition, (on behalf of the 
Natural History Society of Montreal), and my friend, Mr. G. T. Kennedy, B.A., an en- 
thusiastic and skilled zoologist, went with me in the interests of McGill College. Un- 
fortunately he was compelled to return to Montreal, after he had been eight days at sea 
and I thus lost his valuable services and was left quite alone the greater part of the time so 
far as scientific help was concerned. Having plenty of time to make preparations, we 
took everything that experience, gained in five previous expeditions of the kind, suggested. 
It having been previously arranged that we were to meet Commander Lavoie at Father Point 
on the 6th of July, we left Montreal on the 3rd of that month. The following report is 
arranged in three parts. The first part consists of extracts from a diary kept on board 
La Canadienne and the Stella Maris; the second gives a preliminary summary of the 
zoological results obtained ; whilst the third and last part is devoted to practical 
suggestions and concluding remarks. It may be well to remark that as these investiga- 
tions were entirely subordinate to the special duties upon which the schooners were engaged, 
dredging could only be carried on at intervals, and in several cases the same ground was 
gone over twice or more. 

Part I. 

[ (A.) Abstract of Diary kept on board La Canadienne. 

Thursday, July 6th, 1871. Got on board La Canadienne at Father Point, a little 
before noon, and were exceedingly kindly received by everyone. Sailed for the north 
shore about noon and spent the afternoon preparing one of the dredges for use. 

Friday, July 7th. Anchored in Trinity Bay all day ; weather cold and rainy. The 
Laurentian hills visible on shore in the distance ; saw two black guillemots during the 
day. Specimens of Lunaiia heros and Mactra polynema were collected on the beach by a 
party who went ashore. 

Saturday, July 8th. Made two unsuccessful trials with the dredge in 25 fathoms off 
Trinity Bay ; we attributed the failures to the buoyancy of the rope, which was made of 
cocoa nut fibre. A deep sea lead was lashed to the line a fathom or two in front of the 
dredge, which obviated the difficulty. Dredge No. 1. (Omitting the unsuccessful ones), 
25 fathoms sand in Trinity Bay. Twenty-one species of shells and a few large sandy 
foraminifera (Lituolce) came up in this haul. Being anxious to try deeper water, another 
deep sea lead was lashed to the line about 50 fathoms from the first, and we stood out a 
little further from shore. Dredge No. 2. Half way between Point des Monts and 
the west end of Trinity Bay, in 96 fathoms, small stones and coarse sand. Number of 
species considerable ; shells fourteen ; many rare polyzoa, Crustacea, star fishes and three 
interesting sponges. No microscopical organisms in the sand. A young Norway haddock 
came up alive in this haul, 

Sunday, July 9th. At anchor in Seven Island Bay all day. 

Monday, July 10th. No dredging done to-day. 

Tuesday, July 11th. Dredge Nos. 3 and 4. Off Seven Island Bay, 12 J miles from 
shore, 164 fathoms clayey mud. Seven species of shells, many m arine worms, a few small 
crustaceans, a brittle star and a Dentalina were obtained in these two hauls. Saw several 
petrels during the day, but not close enough to distinguish the species. 

Wednesday, July 12th. No dredging to-day ; many whales and black porpoises seen. 
A towing net was used for many hours but almost nothing was caught in it. 

Thursday, July 13th. Landed at Moisie Village in the morning, saw many capelins 
and sand launces brought ashore in a net. Dredge No. 5. 70 fathoms sand, off Moisie 

Village, seven to eight miles from shore. Twenty-one species of shells and several other 
things. Dredge No. G. Fourteen miles from shore, 100 fathoms mud, the bag came up 
almost empty, there was in it only a small quantity of miid containing no organisms 
visible to the naked eye. Mr. Kennedy left for Montreal this evening. 

Friday, July 14th. Employed this day, for the first time, a new dredge, the frame and 
bag of which I had had made under my own immediate supervision in Montreal. It worked 
so well that the other was discarded and put aside as a reserve in case of accident. At 
this point I took observations, as well as I could, of the temperature of the mud or sand 
brought up from various depths. Dredge No. 7. Off Caribou Island, ten miles distant, 
170 fathoms mud. The temperature on deck, in the shade, was 53° Fahr.*; and on plung- 
ing the thermometer in the mud brought up, and shading both with a tarpaulin during the 
process, the mercury sank to 37°. It is probable that it would have fallen a degree or two 
lower had the instrument been self-registering, or if the bulb could have been immersed 
deeper into the mud. Eight species of shells, five of which are new to Canada, and a number 
of curious marine worms were obtained this time. During the day we had sailed back 
past Point des Monts. 

Saturday, July 15th. Returning from Point des Monts, we got dredge No. 8, off 
Egg Island, eight miles from shore, in 70 to 80 fathoms sandy mud. Temperature on 
deck in the shade 58° ; in the mud, 37°. Eleven species of shells, two star-fishes 
{Ctenodiscus) and a sea-anemone in this haul. 

Sunday, July 16th. Anchored in Seven Island Bay all day. 

Monday, July 17th. Off Sawhill Point and River in the morning. Dredge No. 9. 
30 fathoms sand, two miles distant from Sawhill Point. Thirteen species of shells, a 
few interesting hydrozoa (Thuiaria) polyzoa, &c. Temperature on deck in the shade 59° ; 
in the sand, 37°. 

Tuesday, July 18th. Ashore at Magpie Tillage in the morning ; collected many 
specimens of Geronia deaurata, on the beach, and found one fine example of the great spider 
crab, Chionoccetes opilio. Commander Lavoie bought from a man on shore, specimens of 
a male Bariow's Golden Eye, and a pair each of the Common and King Eider Duck, which 
were probably shot on the spot. Dredge 10. Off St. John's River, near the West Point 
of Anticosti, in 60 fathoms sand. Temperature of the sand 37°, while in the shade on 
deck the mercury registered 56°. The species brought up in this haul, though numerous, 
were not of special interest. 

Wednesday, July 19th. Dredge No. 11. Off St, John's River in 50 fathoms 
sand. Temperature on deck in the shade 52°, in the sand 37°. The usual shallow 
water species with a few novelties. Fog and calm part of the day. 

Thursday, July 20th. Anchored o(f St. John's River all day. Dead calm and fog. 
Friday, July 21st. In the morning tried to collect some Calciferous fossils on Har- 
bor Island, Mingan, but without success, as at the place where I landed, fossils were both 
rare and badly preserved. Observed many interesting plants on the rocks near the beach, 
such as Sedum rhodiola, Mitella nuda, Primula farinosa, Pinguicida vulgaris, also the 
usual and characteristic maritime plants. In the afternoon we set sail for English Bay, 

Saturday, July 22nd. Ashore at English Bay, Anticosti, in the morning. At each 
end of the bay good sections of rocks, of the Hudson River Group age, face the sea. A 
number of loose blocks of stone (of the same formation) were lying on the beach. Speci- 
mens of the characteristic fossils of the period were collected from these drifted masses, 
such as AsapJius platycephalic, a small Murchisonia, Orthis testudinaria, Leptaena sericea, 
&c. ; a few interesting shells, crustaceans &c., were also collected, as the tide happened to 
be low. In the afternoon we tried two hauls of the dredge, Nos. 12 and 13. The first 
(No. 12) was in 25 fathoms, on a rocky bottom, off English Bay, and here the principle 
involved in the construction of the new dredge was successfully tested. The scraper got 
foul on a ledge of rocks, but as the arms of the dredge were only tied together with rope 

* To prevent reiteration, it may be as well to state that wherever degrees are mentioned in this report, 

degrees Fahrenheit are intended. 

yarn, the strands broke with tlie strain, and the dredge came up end ways, empty of 
course, but uninjured. Dredge No. 13 was in GO fathoms water, a little to the N. E. 
of the spot previously tried, but all that was obtained was a single shell, and a few small 
stones covered with a parasitic foraminifer (Truncatulina) but nothing else. Dredging 
between the West end of Anticosti and the north shore of the St. Lawrence is difficult, as 
the bottom, in most cases, is bare rock. Sailed for St. John's River, and anchored there 
at night. 

Sunday, July 23rd. Anchored off St. John's River all day. Went ashore in the 
morning, observed a salmon making his way up for the river ; noticed also large shoals of 
capelin, many seals, and a few puffins. 

Monday, July 24th. Still at anchor off the St. John's River ; fog and no wind. 
Fished for cod in the morning, and noticed that nearly all the fish taken had nematoid worms 
encysted on the outside of their livers ; preserved specimens of these for microscopical 
examination. It was our intention to have proceeded as far as Natashquan, then to have 
tried the deepest water in the gulf (313 fathoms) situate at a spot half way between the 
east end of Anticosti and the Bird Rocks, and after a short time, devoted entirely to 
dredging in very deep water to the south of Anticosti, to have made for Gaspe Basin, in 
order that I might return home from that point. Our plans, however, were entirely 
changed ; for in the afternoon an American schooner was captured illegally fishing near 
the shore, and the commander decided at once to take her to Gaspe Basin or Perce. We 
set sail accordingly for the south shore of the St. Lawrence at 6 p.m. 

Tuesday, July 25th. Still making for Gaspe Basin, with very little wind. In the 
afternoon got Dredge No. 14, off the West Point of Anticosti, twenty-four miles from the 
lighthouse, bearing N.N.E., in 200 fathoms mud. Many annelids, a few star fishes, two 
or three shrimps and six species of shells, but so little mud, that when the bulb of the 
thermometer was plunged into it there was barely enough to cover it, consequently the 
mercury did not fall so low as usual. The temperature on deck in the shade was Qti°, in 
the mud it only sank to 50°. 

AVednesday, July 26th. Close to Cap Rosier lighthonse in the 1 morning. Dredge 
No. 15, (the most successful haul on board La Ganadienne) in 125 fathoms mud, six miles 
from shore, immediately opposite Cap Rosier lighthouse. Temperature on deck in the 
shade 64°, in the mud 38°. Many large specimens of Sar's brittle star and of Ophiacantha 
spinulosa in this haul, also other rare and fine echinoderms, a large Nympjfwn t ten species 
oi shells, d r c.,&c, quite a number not only of species but also of individuals. We then 
endeavoured to find a " reef," or cod bank, which runs out to sea between Ship Head and 
Cape Bon Ami, upon which, in 1869, I had collected a number of rare and new marine 
sponges, shells, <fec, but we failed to find it. Dredge No. 16, the last on board La 
Ganadienne, was off Cap Bon Ami, six miles from shore, on a stony bottom, in thirty 
fathoms water. Not much came up this time, a few stones and five or six species of 
shells. Anchored in Gaspe Bay at night and, in the morning I went ashore. 

In Gaspe Basin. 

Commander Lavoie having kindly given me a letter to Captain Lachance I determined 
to wait for the Stella Maris. Mr. Jos. Eden telegraphed to Paspebiac, but unfortunately 
the schooner had left that place before the telegram arrived. Waited a fortnight in Gaspe 
Basin, during which time I got one good days dredging in the ba} r , and early on the 
morning of Friday, August 11th, I started on cruise No. 2, on board the Stella Maris. 

B. — Abstract of Diary on board the Stella Maris. 

For convenience of reference, the hauls of the dredge on La Ganadienne are de- 
signated by numbers, those on board the Stella Maris by letters of the alphabet. As 
there was no deep sea lead on the Stella Maris, the depths greater than sixty fathoms are 
taken from the charts. 

Friday, August 11th. Sailed from Gaspe Basin at about 3 a.m., and about the 
middle of the day got Dredge A., in thirty-eight fathoms water, (measured) bottom of 
small stones, Cape Ga^pe W. I- S., Cape des Hosiers KW. by N., about five miles from 
shore. Many fine large specimens of the " crumb of bread " sponge, sea-urchins, star 
fish, crabs of the genus Ilyas, Polyzoa, and about twenty-five species of shells, five of 
which are very rare, came up this time. The number both of individual specimens and 
of species very large ; a bottom composed of small stones being usually the most productive 
of all kinds of ground. The dredge was clown an hour and a quarter, but the wind 
was so slight that the scraper anchored the schooner for some time. Dead calm about 1 p.m., 
which lasted twenty-four hours. 

Saturday, August 12th. A light N.W. breeze springing up at 12.15 p.m., enabled 
us to resume operations. Dredge B. Between Cap Rosier and Griffins Cove, eighteen 
miles from shore, 120 fathoms. After remaining at the bottom an hour, when it was hauled 
up, the bag proved to be almost empty — two marine worms and a broken brittle star were 
all that it contained. We tried again in the same place, but with still worse success, for 
in Dredge C there was absolutely nothing. 

Sunday, August 1 3th. Sailed along the S. W. shore of Anticosti as far west as the 
West Point lighthouse, and anchored at night in Ellis Bay. Fine sections of Lower 
Silurian rocks face the sea here ; during the day observed many gannets diving. A 
long reef of rock extends seawards to the west of Ellis Bay, and this, as was also the 
beach to the east of it, is dotted over with large boulders. 

Monday, August 14th. Rose at G a.m., and went to examine the limestone reef 
mentioned above, the tide being low, but did not find any fossils, or any marine animals 
of special interest. Clouds of wading birds, plovers, sandpipers, <fee., were feed- 
ing in the bay; many seals, and a few foolish guillemots were also observed. The lime- 
stone in this bay is perfectly riddled with the burrows of Saxicava (a boring bivalve), and 
small crabs (Cancer borealis ?) are abundant near the shore. Sea-weeds, also, were very 
plentiful here, amongst them, gigantic fronds of Laminaria six to ten feet long or more. 
Returned to the ship and went ashore at the east end of the bay later in the morning, but 
landed with difficulty, owing to the extreme shallowness of the water. The land is low, 
but well wooded, the trees, however, are very small. Few plants of any special in- 
terest were noticed. Zygadenus glaucus was abundant and in full flower. There ap- 
peared to be an exposure of rock at the east end of the bay, but there was not time to walk 
to it. Many pieces of limestone were lying on the beach, containing common but well 
preserved fossils of the Hudson River Group. Living specimens of Helix nemoralis, var 
hortensis (a common European snail) were collected. At 3 p.m., we sailed for the south 

Tuesday, August 15th. On rising, I found that the dredge had been thrown over 
at 4.30 a.m., and that it had been hauled up nearly full, before I was up. Dredge D, 
Eilis Bay, Anticosti, bearing S.W., twenty-one miles distant, 160 fathoms mud. About 
forty sea-pens (Pennatula) of a species new to science, and many interesting and rare 
forms in this haul. I rose at 6 a.m. to see what the mud contained, and at G.40 another 
successful attempt was made. Dredge E, Ellis Bay, Anticosti, bearing S.S.W., twenty- 
seven miles distant, 200 fathoms mud. The temperature on deck was 68° in the shade, and 
when the bulb was immersed in the mud in the usual way, the mercury sank barely as low 
as 42° ! This puzzled me considerably, as the temperature of the deep sea mud had 
hitherto ranged pretty uniformly^from 37° to 38°. This time, however, several minutes 
elapsed, after the bulb had been pushed into the mud, before the mercury sank 10°, and 
nearly half an hour before it sank to 42°, — if it did at all, for, perhaps 43 Q to 45° 
would be nearer the proper reading. Whether a warm current affects the temperature 
of the bottom at this point, or that my observations were inaccurate or defective, (which is 
highly probable) remains to be seen. A few (ten to twelve) sea-pens of the same species 
as before, and a very similar assemblage of specimens to those obtained in the last haul, 
were procured in this. At 2.30 p.m., we were off Griffin's Cove, an hour afterwards we 
were making for the north shore, and at 6 p.m., were out of sight of land. 

Wednesday, August 16th. Off Sawhill Point (Sheldrake) at 9.45 a.m. Dredge F. 
Sawhill Point, bearing N.E., twelve miles distant, in sixty-nine fathoms on a rocky bottom ; 
consequently very few specimens were collected. Several " crumb of bread " sponges, a 
sea anemone, a rare star fish identical with one dredged in the Porcupine expedition, and 
since described by Professor Wyville Thompson, several large shrimps, a small specimen 
of the great spider-crab, (Chionoccetes) a hermit crab inside a dead shell of Fusus tomatus 
a single valve of Neozva artica, and a specimen each of Turritella erosa, and reticulata, with a 
few stones, were all that came up. Our course was now changed to one almost due east; wind 
nearly ahead, — weather misty rather than foggy. At 6 p.m. we were opposite Thunder 
River. On the north shore, at this point, the Laurentian (?) rocks crop up near the 
shore, and form low barren hills almost devoid of vegetation, which gives the landscape a 
desolate aspect. Dredge G. sixty fathoms mud, off Thunder River, bearing N.N.E., ten 
miles distant. Two fine examples of Agassiz's ""basket fish " (Astrophyton Agassizii) in 
this haul, and a few common shells, in all only seven or eight specimens. Passed to the 
north of the West Point lighthouse at 9 p.m. ; saw the light very plainly. 

Thursday, August 17th. In the morning among the Mingan Islands ; saw several 
puffins and kittiwakes. Went ashore at Mingan at 10.30; on landing, noticed that there 
was a small quantity of magnetic iron sand on the beach. Walked through a cranberry 
swamp to the Mingan River, botanizing on the way; in the dry places there were small Cana- 
da balsam and spruce trees, also small junipers : Potentilla tridentata, Stellaria, <fcc, and in 
the wetter places Spiranlhes, Ledum, Kalmia, and other ericaceous and marsh plants. Dur- 
ing the afternoon, we sailed through the Islands as far as Esquimaux Point, and went ashore 
there for a short time in the evening. Set sail again about 8, the course being more to 
the south — towards the north shore of Anticosti. 

Friday, August 18th. At 8 a.m., we were between Cape Observation and Bear Head, 
Anticosti. Fine bold escarpments of a whitish looking (Upper Silurian) limestone, 
seven good sections visible at once. The dredge had been thrown out and pulled up again 
before I was up. Dredge H, between Anticosti and the North Shore, Charleton Point 
(Anticosti) bearing W. by S., eight miles distant. Many stones, some large, others small, 
came up in the bag, but there were more gneissoid or Laurentian masses than pieces of 
fossiliferous limestone. Two rarespecies of sponge, seaanemones,f TealiacrassicornisJseveYSil 
shrimps, a few Amphiurm and Ctenodiscus, twelve species of shells, two of them brachio- 
pods, and two small fishes, were brought up this time. One of the fishes was a juvenile 
wolf-fish ( Anarrhicas), the other a gurnard, of the genus Agonus. Dredge I. In 120 
fathoms mud, Bear Head, Anticosti, bearing N.W. by W., twelve miles distant. Tem- 
perature in the shade, on deck, 60°, in the mud, 38? or 39?. Mixed with the mud were 
a number of small water-worn stones : some of them were pebbles of labradorite, <fec, 
others of fossiliferous limestone, a few isolated fossil Rhynchonellas were also detected. 
Recent species : several hydrozoa, polyzoa, and marine worms, five large examples of 
Ctenodiscus, and eight species of shells, differing materially from those taken in dredge 
H. Weather sunny and hot. 

Saturday, August 19th. Passed the East Point Lighthouse at 8 a.m. Weather 
showery, with very little wind. We intended to try and examine to-day the locality in 
which, according to the chart, the depth is 313 fathoms, but were prevented by the 
weather. Measured our rope in the morning, and found we had about 575 fathoms. 
Lashed three heavy weights to the line ; the first, with a large swab attached in front, 
two or three fathoms from the mouth of the dredge, the second, 100 fathoms from the 
first, and the third 100 fathoms from the second. In the afternoon, (2.45 p.m.) we got 
Dredge J. Dredge J, off the East Point of Anticosti, bearing S. by W., twenty -four miles 
distant, 212 fathoms mud, with several large stones. On the swab I found seven speci- 
mens of a curious crustacean of the genus Pycnogonum, and two or three examples of 
a brittle star, Opliia.cantha spinidosa. Temperature on deck, 60° in the shade ; in the 
mud 40°. About twenty species visible to the naked eye were obtained in this haul, 
but the number of individuals was small when it is considered that the dredge brought 
up upwards of six buckets full of mud. The microscopic organisms in this and the fol- 

lowing haul, were since found to be of unusal interest. At 10.15 p.m., the dredge was 
thrown over again, in nearly the same place, but in a little deeper water, probably 250 
fathoms, and was hauled in a little before midnight. This, the last haul on the Stella 
Maris, is Dredge K. A little mud with a few small stones, came up in the bag; the number 
of specimens obtained was very small. As the wet rope went over the side of the ship, 
it was luminous throughout its entire length with electric sparks, but the closest scrutiny 
with a triplet lens, failed to detect an} r organic matter among the strands. 

Sunday, August 20th. A heavy gale from the north west sprung up a little after 
midnight, and drove us down to the Magdalen Islands. Anchored in the lee of Bryan 
Island for shelter at 10 a.m., and remained there all day. A very heavy sea on. Went 
ashore in the afternoon; noticed several Kittiwakes, Gannets, and two Caspian Terns, 
near the land. The red sandstone of which Bryan Island is composed appears to be of 
Lower Carboniferous age. 

Monday, August 21st. Tried to beat up towards Gaspe Bay but utterly failed. At 
7 in the evening we were almost where we started from. 

Tuesday, August 22nd. The gale continued till 1 p.m., and was succeeded by a dead 
calm, then a favorable breeze springing up, at 11 p.m., we sailed for Gaspe Basin and 
arrived there the next day at 4.30 p.m. Got on board the S. S. Gaspe early on Thursday 
morning, and arrived in Montreal on the following Sunday. 

On La Canadienne we had sixteen hauls of the dredge. Of these two were failures, 
the bag coming up empty : four were in fifty fathoms of water, or less ; seven in between 
fifty and 100 fathoms, and five in from 100 to 200 fathoms. 

On the Stella Maris we had eleven hauls. Of these, two brought up nothing ; one 
was in less than fifty fathoms ; two were between fifty and 100, and six between 100 and 
250 fathoms. 

Part II. 

Provisional Summary of the Zoological Results obtained. 

r mvmAk present only the Echinodermata and Mollusca collected have been carefully studied. 
The Foraminifera, Polycystinoe, Sponges, Actinozoa, Polyzoa, and Crustacea, have been 
examined in a somewhat cursory way, but the Hydrozoa and the marine worms are as yet 
untouched. In the following sketch a complete list is given of the novelties among the 
Echinoderms and Molluscs, and such notes on the other groups as the time at my disposal 
for their examination has permitted. For the loan of books of reference, I am indebted 
to Principal Dawson, and to valuable practical help in the microscopic dissection of many 
ot the species to G. T. Kennedy, B.A. 


Very large quantites of these beautiful organisms were collected, but not a twentieth 
of the whole have been examined, even in the most desultory way. Since the publication 
of Mr. G. M. Dawson's paper on the Canadian species of this group, published in June, 
1870, much additional information on the subject has been amassed. Eleven large bag- 
fulls of mud brought up from various localities, at depths of from 100 to 250 fathoms 
during the past summer, were preserved : only two of which have as yet been partially 

Further research does not, so far, confirm Mr. Dawson's theory, that the foraminifera 
found at depths greater than 100 fathoms "are very small and delicate." Gigantic 
examples of Nodosaria, Dentalina communis and pauperata, and of a new Mar- 
ginuline form, armed with spines longer than in most specimens of Calcarina, also 
Triloctdina tricarinala, var., are frequent in from 150 to 250 fathoms, and are very 
plainly visible to the naked eye. My experience is, that the arenaceous species are 
not more plentiful in Gaspe Bay than in any other part of the Biver or Gulf of the St. 
Lawrence.^ In Mr. Dawson's paper, a list is given of 55 sub-species or varietal forms ot 

foraminifera from the Gulf and River St. Lawrence. Of these I regard a few as too 
trifling varieties of other species to warrant the application of a distinctive name, and 
one of them, Khabdopleura abyssorum, I believe to be an annelid tube, having examined the 
animal in a living state. On the supposition that in 1870 about 50 sub-species, 
or pretty well characterized varieties were known to inhabit the seas of the Dominion, it 
is probable that the researches of the past summer will add at least one-third more to the 
number. The following species seem most characteristic of the deep water of the River 
and Gulf, to the east of Newfoundland : — 

Lagena distoma, type. Virgulina squamosa. 

Bulimina pyrula. Bolivina costata. 

,, marginata. „ punctata. 

Valvulina Austriaca. Triloculina tricarinata. 


In Principal Dawson's " Handbook of Zoology," two species of this group are 
recorded as natives of the seas of Canada. The number of species will be now doubled. 
One of the new forms appears to belong to the genus Haliomma, and it would seem that 
these beautiful organisms are most abundant in very deep water, in not much less than 
200 fathoms. 


Five or si:: species of sponge, new to me, were obtained, most of them in deep water 
One is Grantia ciliata, the first sponge with calcareous spicules, known to inhabit 

the seas of Canada. 

Another belongs to Rowerbank's genus Polymastia, and may be a new species, as it 

does not agree with any yet described. The rest are undetermined. 

Many specimens of this group were collected, but they have not yet been examined. 


No true corals have been discovered in the Gulf of St Lawrence, or, indeed, north 
of the State of Massachusetts, on this side of the Atlantic. The so-called " corals ; ' of 
the charts are calcareous polyzoa. 

The two common sea anemones, viz., Metridium marginatum, Say, which is probably 
a variety of the European Actinoloba dianthus, Ellis, and Rliodactinia Daviesii, Ag., which 
also seems to be the species known to European authors as Tealia crassicornis, occur 
as abundantly, living in the greatest depths examined, as in very shallow water. 

The most interesting discovery made in this group of animals was that of a fine 
colony of Sea Pens, living in deep water between Anticosti and the south shore of the 
St. Lawrence. No true Pennatula had hitherto been found either on the east or west 
coast of North America, and the genus is consequently new to the continent. 

These Sea Pens (so called from their curious resemblance to a quill pen) belong to the 
genus Pennatula, as restricted by the latest writers. The St. Lawrence Pennatula is 
probably new to science, it is equally distinct from the Mediterranean species, P. purpurea 
of Ellis, the British Phosp)horella phosphorea and the Norwegian Ptilella borealis. 


The following is a complete list of the deep sea Echinoderms collected : — 
Schizaster fragilis, Dub. and Koren. Two living examples. 

Calveria hystrix, Wyville Thompson. (Perhaps Solaster fur cifer oi Dubai and Keren) 
One specimen. I am indebted to Prof. A. Agassiz for the identification of this Asterid. 

This is the star fish so called in the proceedings of the Royal Society, Yol. 18, No. 
221, page 445, but not the sea urchin to which that name is also given in the same 
Journal, Vol. 19, No. 125, page 154. 

Ctenodiscus crispatus, Duben and Koren. Abundant in deep water everywhere. 
Ophioglypha Sarsii, Lutken. Very large and abundant in 25 fathoms. 

Abundant in 100 to 250 fathoms, as well as in shallow 

Not rare in deep water. 
Two fine specimens in sixty fathoms mud off Thunder 

Ophiacantha spinulosa, Mull. 

Amphiura Holbollii, Lutken. 

Astrophyton Agassizii, Slimps. 
River. Hardly a deep sea species. 

The few echinoderms yet collected in the deep sea of the gulf are all European species, 
but two of them are new to America. Many common forms were taken in shallow 


The series of marine worms collected is interesting and curious in the extreme, and 
consists of more than twenty species, which, however, have yet to be studied and identified. 


Only a very few of these have yet been examined. No large crabs or lobsters were 
collected in deep water. The most striking of the deep sea crustaceans are a fine large 
Nymphon, perhaps JV. giganteum Johnst., a Pycnogonum taken in 250 fathoms, which may 
be Dr. Stimpson's P. pelagicum, and among the Amphipods, a fine Acanthonotus near to 
A. Serratus. 


As yet a few of the more conspicuous of these have been submitted to microscopical 
examination. The number of species new to the seas of the Province of Quebec will 
probably exceed twenty. Two of the most conspicuous and interesting forms obtained 
are Dejrancia lucemaria, Sars, and Retepora cellulosa, var., elongata, Smitt. Specimens of 
Alcyonidium gelatinosum, Pallas ; Flustra Barleii ? Busk ; Acamarchis plumosa, Bicellaria 
ciliata, Crisia eburnea, Scrupocellaria scruposa, Gemellaria loricata, and Idmonea atlantica 
have been recognised among the species collected. 


A few of these curious molluscoids were met with, one of which seems to be Mohjula 
arenosa, the rest are at present undetermined. 


As I wished to avail myself of the opinion of Mr. J. Gwyn Jeffreys, F.R.S., on the 
shells collected, during his visit to Montreal, these were carefully studied first. The 
following species were procured from depths of 100 fathoms and upwards : — 

Terebratula septentrionalis, Couth. 
Terebratella Spitzbergensis, Dav. 
*Pecten Groenlandicus Chemn. non S< 
Area pectunculoides, Scacchi. 
Yoldia thraciceformis, Storer. 
,, lucida, Loven. 

* „ frigida, Torell. 
Daeiydium vitreum, Moll. 
Astarte crebricostata, Forbes. 

* ,, sulcata, var. minor. 
*Neoera arctica, Sars. 

"Necera obesa, Loven. 

Oryptodon Gouldii, Philippi 
*Philine quadrata, Wood. 

Dentalium abyssorum, Sars. 

Siphonodentalium vitreum, Sars. 

Eissoa scrobiculata, Moller. 

Aporrhais occidentalis, Beck. 

Eulima stenostoma, Jeffreys. 
*Bela Trevelyana, Turton. 

Buccinum ciliatum, Fab. 

Chrysodomus (Sipho) Islandicus, Chenm. 

Those species to wnich an * is attached were identified by Mr. Jeffreys, who also confirms the co 
ness of the naming of the rest. i 


In less than 100 fathoms ninny interesting species were obtained. Among the rarest 
of these are the following : — 

Terebratella Spitzbergensls. Davidson. Ranges from thirty to 120 fathoms, but is most 
abundant in shallow water. T. Labradorensis, Sow, is a synonym of this species. 

* Astarte lactea, Brod. and Sow. Living in from thirty to seventy fathoms, in various 

Tellina (Macoma) new species. In eighty fathoms sand off Moisie Village. 
Utriculus hyalinus, Turton. From twenty five fathoms sand, in Trinity Bav. 
* Lacuna glaeialis, Moller. Ninety six fathoms sand, in Trinity Bay. 

Rissoa (species undetermined). With the preceding. 
^Margarita glauca, Moller. Thirty fathoms sand, off Sawhill Point. 
Odostomia, new species. Seventy fathoms sand, off Moisie Village. 
'*Ckrysodomus (Sipho) Spitzbergensis, Reeve : or a new species. Gaspe Bay. 
*Chrysodomus (Siplio) Sarsii, Jeffreys. In several places, at depths ranging from 
fifty to ninty fathoms. 

Twenty six species of shells, not previously known to inhabit the seas of the Province 
of Quebec, were collected during the two cruises. Of these, fifteen are new to the continent 
of America, and out of the fifteen two are new to science. > 


The only fishes brought up by the dredge were a young specimen each of the Norway 
Haddock (Sebastes Norvegicus), the Wolf fish (Anarrhicas lupus), and a small Gurnard of 
the genus Agonus. 

When the material collected during the past summer has been carefully examined 
and studied, it is estimated that nearly 100 species of marine animate will be then known 
which belong almost exclusively to the deep sea in Canada. In depths of from low water 
mark down to fifty or sixty fathoms, sea-weeds both large and small are very numerous, 
and the animal life is abundant and prolific. In the deep sea mud, sea-weeds seem to 
be very rare, (a few frustules of diatoms were all that were collected), the animals are very 
different from those of shallow water, and seem to benot so numerous either in individuals or 
in species. Moreover, the deep sea fauna of the St. Lawrence is more Arctic and Scandinavian 
in its character than is that of the lesser depths. Those who are interested in the study 
of the fossils of the Canadian Post Pliocene deposits, will be glad to have an opportunity 
afforded of comparing them with the recent fauna of the deepest parts of the St. Lawrence. 

Part III. 
Practical Suggestions and Concluding Remarks. 

The food fishes of the St. Lawrence may be divided into Wo groups, viz., those which 
feed at the surface, as the herring and mackerel ; and those which feed at the bottom, such 
as the cod, halibut, and all the flat fishes. With regard to the surface feeders, no 
information about their food was collected. No opportunities were afforded of examining 
the contents of the stomachs of either mackerel or herrings. Four towing nets were 
provided with the view of capturing floating animals, but almost nothing was taken in 
these. No Medusce and no Pteropods were collected, although considerable attention was 
paid to the use of these nets, especially when many whales were in sight. 

I have examined the contents of the stomachs of more thr.n 500 cod fishes, taken in 
Gaspe Bay, in many places on the north shore of the St. Lawrence, near the Magdalen 
Islands, &c. The following list will give an idea of the food of this fish, that which 
occurs most frequently being placed first. Of course, objects, such as sea anemones, 
which are entirely soft, cannot be readily identified. 


1. Other fishes, such as sand launces, orpelin, ifco.: lhave found a small sea-lamprey 
in a Cod's stomach. 

2. Crabs, of the genus Hyas mostly. 

3. Squid, at certain seasons. 

4. Bivalve shells, especially the following: Glycimeris siliqua, Cardinal Islandicum, 
Serripes Oroenlandicus, Yoldla myalls and limalida, and occasionally, other species. 

5. Brittle stars, very rarely, generally pi ilopl tolls acideata. 

Judging from the contents of its stomach, it would appear that the cod very rarely 
feeds at greater depths than fifty or sixty fathoms. By dredging, in comparatively shallow 
water, one can often observe where cod have been feeding, by the presence in the dredge 
of empty shells of large cockles, which the cod have swallowed while living, and ejected 
all but the nutritious portions through the mouth. Cod banks, or as the Gaspe fishermen 
call them, "reefs," are submarine elevations of the bottom of the sea. One of these 
banks (between Capes Gaspe and Bon Ami) I examined in 1869, and was amazed at the 
extraordinary numbers of the minute shells of the foraminifera brought up in the sand 
from the bottom. It may be that in some cases the abundance on the banks of these 
microscopic creatures, upon which other marine animals feed, may be the primary cause 
of the presence of cod in such numbers at these places. Farther up the St. Lawrence,, 
opposite Riviere du Loup, Principal Dawson informs me that cod feed largely on shrimps. 
Cod fishes are infested with parasites, both external and internal. In European seas no* 
less than five species of parasitic crustaceans attach themselves to the outside of cod,, 
but I have only noticed two kinds on cod from the St. Lawrence. Tape worms occurred 
in the intestinal canal of Gaspe examples of this fish, and nematoid (?) worms were observed 
encysted on the outside of the livers of cod caught off the St. John's Biver. 

Halibuts and flounders feed largely upon molluscs, both bivalve and univalve, and 
they may obtain their food in deep water. At any rate flounders from Portland, Me., 
offered for sale in Montreal, frozen, have their stomachs full of shells of species exactly 
identical with those dredged in from 100 to 250 fathoms in the St. Lawrence. 

In case Americans are allowed to fish in Canadian waters, the custom (said to be 
practiced by them) of splitting the fish caught at sea and throwing the offal overboard,, on 
the fishing ground, should not be permitted. 

A few words on the edible mollusca of the Dominion may not be out of place here. 
Some of these are found on both sides of the Atlantic, but about one-half are peculiar to 
the shores of North America. To the first of these groups belong the razor fish (Solan 
ensis) ; the two "soft shell clams," (Mya arenarla and truncata), and the common mussel, 
{Mytilus edulls). All of these inhabit the seas ofCanada, and are largely used in Europe 
as articles of food. The whelk of the American shores, (Buccinum undidatum, Matter), 
may be only a variety of the common British species, and the same may be said of the 
Canadian oyster, of which the specific relations are still obscure. Of the edible species of 
molluscs found in Canada, but not in Europe, there are few of any economic importance. 
The two Canadian cockles are too difficult to obtain, the same is true of one of the two 
native scallops (which, however, is found on both sides of the Atlantic), Mactra polynema 
is a little more feasible, but by far the best of all is the large scallop known to naturalists 
as Pecten Magellanicus. This species has everything in its favor as an article of food ; it 
is of large size, specimens often measuring five to six inches in diameter, which prevents it 
being swallowed by fish ; it lives in very shallow water, and is, therefore, easy to obtain ; 
and lastly, it is delicious when cooked. I have eaten cooked examples of Ceronia 
deaurata, a bivalve which is common on the oeach in many parts of the Gulf, but it makes 
a poor si ate for the cockles of the old country. 

The dea mess and scarcity of oysters in England has led to the formation of companies 
there, whose object is to ; import these molluscs from Nova Scotia and New Brunswick. 
In view of tins circumstance, as well as in the interests of our own people, it is of practical 
importance that endeavors should be made to develop our resources in this direction. I 
take the liberty of offering a few suggestions on this point. It would be of value, I 
think, if a seres of observations on the temperature of the bottom of the sea in various 


parts of the coasts of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick were carefully made, with the 
latest appliances for that purpose. To these should be added a careful examination of 
the nature of the bottom, and in various localities, with special reference to the presence 
or absence of such microscopic vegetable and animal organisms as are known to form the 
bulk of the food of the oyster. Individuals or companies who might endeavor to make 
oyster beds artificially, would probably find these observations of value. Encouragement 
should be 'afforded to persons engaged in artificial oyster culture, or in making experi- 
ments with that end in view, by giving such legal protection to interests of this kind, 
as is done in Great Britain. It might be well to offer a reward for the best essay on 
artificial oyster culture in the Gulf of St. Lawrence, with special reference to the varieties 
best adapted for introduction into our waters. Attempts to acclimatize oysters in the 
seas of the Province of Quebec would, I think, be impracticable, unless (which is 
not likely to be the case) places should be found where the mean temperature of the 
bottom is exceptionally high. The northern limit of the oyster in Canada is the south 
side of the Bay of Chaleur, and in the north of New Brunswick oysters are usually of small 
size. The laws of New Brunswick and Nova Scotia with reference to oysters are defective, 
and require reconsideration and amendment. 

In 1869, Principal Dawson dredged wood perforated by a species of ship worm, (pro- 
bably Teredo dilatata, Stimpson,) in Gaspe Bay, and in the same year I dredged a piece of 
waterlogged wood riddled by and full of a small burrowing crustacean of the genus 
LiiiDioria, in the same locality. When it is remembered that so many ships have been 
lost at sea, through the ravages of the ship worm that it has been designated by Linnceus 
the " calamitas navium," and when one reads of the damage done to dockyards in Europe 
.and America, either by the Limnoria alone, or by it and the Teredo, it behoves us to be on 
our guard when we learn that these formidable creatures unfortunately inhabit our own 
shores. Principal Dawson informs me that great damages have already been done to the 
woodwork of wharves and harbours in Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, by this species 
•of Teredo. Mr. Nelson Davis, of Montreal, tells me that the brigantine " Magdala,' 7 
which was built at St. John, N. B., was completely riddled by this ship worm, some time 
ago, on her first voyage, from St. John to Liverpool. He kindly shewed me pieces of 
the timber of this unfortunate vessel, perforated in every direction with the burrows of 
this species, and containing the valves and pallets in situ. The whole of the ships bottom 
had to be renewed and covered with copper sheeting before she was again seaworthy. 

If it is borne in mind that only five weeks were spent at sea altogether, and that 
during this time the ordinary duties upon which the schooners were engaged, often 
did not allow me to dredge, also that frequently, when opportunities were afforded, the 
weather was unfavorable, and that I was practically alone (so far as scientific help was 
concerned) nearly all the time ; it is hoped that the results, both in a scientific and in a 
practical point of view, will be such as to be creditable alike to the Dominion Government 
12nd to the society which I have the honour of representing. 

It may be mentioned that the cost of the outfit, and extra travelling expenses, 
amounted to about $130, of which the Natural History Society of Montreal paid $94 28, 
and myself the remainder. 

My thanks are specially due, and are hereby gratefully acknowledged to Commander 
Lavpie, M.D., J.P., F. E. Gauthier Esq. B.A., Captain Leblanc and the officers of La 
Canadlenne ; also to Captain Lachance and the officers of the Stella Maris, for their 
unvarying kindness and valuable assistance to me while on board their vessels ; to J. W. 
Gregory Esq., of Quebec, also to Mr. Joseph Eden, and other friends in Gaspe Basin, for 
much courtesy shown to me during a fortnight's stay at that pir reside littte town. 

Montreal, December 2th9, 1871. 



Date Due